These mixed berry fruit tartlets made with pâte sucrée ( sweet shortcrust pastry), luscious creme patissiere and medley of mixed berries is a simple yet elegant dessert to make for family and friends.
The abundance of fresh berries inspired me to put together this mixed berry fruit tartlets. No trip to the supermarket is complete without me walking out with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries. The thing with berries is that the have a rather short shelf life. Raspberries especially. They go mouldy not long after purchase, which can be rather disappointing as well as annoying. It isn’t like berries are cheap as well. I was so glad when I came across an online discussion where I picked up tips on how to keep berries fresh for longer. Those tips have worked and saved me from throwing my money in the bin.
- First things first, you want to set the berries free of squashed packaging.
- Make a diluted vinegar bath of one cup vinegar to 3 cups water. Wash the berries in diluted vinegar bath.
- Drain berries in a colander and rinse under cool running water, to remove the taste of vinegar.
- Line a tray or large plate with paper towels and spread berries on top to dry.
- Store berries in a sealable container lined with paper towels and leave the lid open slightly to allow moisture to escape. With the steps you are guaranteed an extended shelf life of your berries by days or even a week or two.
This mixed berry fruit tartlets starts off with a pâte sucrée(sweet shortcrust pastry) base. This is a richer shortcrust pastry than the one I made here. Made with plain flour, unsalted butter, sugar and eggs, it has a cookie like crust and sweet flavour. Additional ingredients like ground nuts , lemon rind, spices can be added for flavour . To save on time you can prepare the shortcrust pastry and store in the fridge until ready to use. Remove the pastry from fridge and leave to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out. Pâte sucrée can be quite crumbly, so it may be easier to roll out between two sheets of cling film. The pâte sucrée will need to be pre-baked and cooled to set the pastry before the creme patissiere is added.
The creme patissiere, is a thick custard made with milk , sugar ,eggs yolks, vanilla and cornstarch and cooked over slow heat. Again you can always make this a couple of days in advance and store in the fridge until ready to use. Breaking a dessert like this down into parts makes it easier and sometimes less stressful to put together. I like my creme patissiere quick light and fluffy. So just before assembling it all together, I lightened mine up by folding in some softly whipped cream.
Choose whatever fruit you desire to layer on top of the creme patiserre. There is so much to choose from, you could slices of mangoes, peaches and grapes make lovely toppings as well. I guess it’s all down to taste. Dust with some icing sugar and enjoy!!!
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